THE BLOG

The President Has Come of Age

01/12/2011 10:34 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Trey Ellis Novelist, Screenwriter, and Associate Professor at Columbia University

Tonight in Tucson the president's strength, compassion and wisdom reminded us all of what we first saw in him, what can get lost in the day-to-day legislative sausage-making. More gray-haired and somber, he brilliantly and so presidentially rose above the clutter, the chatter. I keep thinking about his oft-repeated line, "our better angels," and today he inspired us all, on all sides, to really hear those words.

He preached tonight, a lay Christian minister. I can't but hope that the vast reasonable middle of the electorate, after his speech, is more with him than before. I would guess that tonight was the first time that they sat down and really listened to an entire speech of his in months. It was a helluva of a way to get reacquainted.

Sarah Palin's upload from her bunker this morning couldn't provide a starker example of the differences in the content of their characters.

For all her whining that it's actually her that has been wronged, for all Fox News' post-speech takeaway that the president's speech absolved them from any culpability in the dangerous turn in public political discourse, I can't help but hope that the deaths in Tucson will chasten them, just a little.